West Kildare turbine fight goes on

Wind turbines.

Wind turbines.

  • by Niamh O’Donoghue

Fears that West Kildare would become industrialised by hundreds of wind turbines were eased somewhat over the weekend, after it emerged the deal to export the energy had fallen through.

However, local campaigners have pledged to continue their fight, as some of the wind energy companies involved said they intended to proceed anyway.

Plans for more than 2,000 midland wind turbines were in the pipeline up to last week.

It remains to be seen if it will be economically viable, or possible for that number to power the Irish grid, now that the energy can’t be exported to Britain until a new deal is done, which is unlikely until after at least 2020.

South Kildare Against Spin issued a cautious welcome in response to the news.

A spokesperson said; “The time is well past for Ireland to review its entire energy policy with respect to wind farms, pylons and substations.

“An early statement from the Minister to this effect and clarity as to the implications of the collapse of the inter-governmental agreement would give both communities and wind energy companies clear direction. As it stands, confusion reigns.”

Element Power wants to build 750 185m turbines across five counties – and has signed up 100 Kildare farmers to provide sites for the turbines.

Bord Na Mona’s Clean Energy Hub was expected to cater for up to 700 145m turbines on cutaway bog in West Kildare and East Offaly, making it one of the biggest wind farms in Europe. Mainstream has signed up a small number of farmers in the Rathangan and Mucklon areas. Element Power informed the Leader; “We’ve no comment to make at this time”, while an unnamed company source was quoted in one of the Sunday newspapers as saying its plans would still go ahead.




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